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African press review 13 October 2014


An African crisis fund, a Kenyan clean sweep in Chicago, the death of Ali Mazrui, and the fate of Julius Malema's party are some of this morning's main stories . . .

According to South African financial paper, BusinessDay, finance ministers are in discussion with the International Monetary Fund to set up a “crisis facility” that will speedily release funds to any African country, regardless of status, should a crisis like Ebola happen again.

The World Bank and IMF already have funds set aside to be used during crises, but those are mainly intended to help low-income countries.

At the world financial bodies' annual meeting at the weekend, member states warned that bold action was needed to bolster global economic recovery. They urged governments not to hinder growth by tightening budgets too drastically.

With Japan’s economy floundering, the eurozone at risk of recession and China’s expansion slowing, the International Monetary Fund’s steering committee said focusing on growth was the priority.

In local news, BusinessDay reports that the Economic Freedom Fighters are waiting for a parliamentary committee to decide whether the party's MPs are guilty of contempt of Parliament.

Twenty Economic Freedom Fighters MPs, including party leader Julius Malema, walked out of the powers and privileges committee last Tuesday after questioning the committee's legitimacy and before they were asked to plead to charges that they had disrupted the proceedings of Parliament.

The committee was considering the incident on 21 August when the Economic Freedom Fighters demanded to know from President Jacob Zuma when he intended to pay back the public money spent on his private home in Nkandla, Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Business in the National Assembly was eventually suspended after the EFF MPs repeatedly chanted "pay back the money".

In the Kenyan Standard, the main story reports the death last night of scholar and political writer Ali Mazrui. Eighty-one-year-old Mazrui died in the United States.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Preparations to bury him in his native Mombasa are underway.

Mazrui wrote and presented the BBC television series "The Africans". He was Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University in New York.

The death of Ali Mazrui also dominates the front page of the Kenyan Daily Nation. The Nairobi-based paper says that the world renowned academic had been ill for a number of months, without giving further details

On the Standard's sports pages, news that Eliud Kipchoge won the Chicago Marathon yesterday to lead a 1-2-3 finish for Kenyan men. Kipchoge pulled away over the last two miles for his first major marathon victory, finishing in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 11 seconds. He was followed by Sammy Kitwara and Dickson Chumba. Kenya's Rita Jeptoo won her second consecutive Chicago Marathon women's title, giving her four triumphs in a row over the distance.

The Daily Nation also reports that National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri yesterday challenged those who have invaded the 134-acre plot in Karen, an afluent suburb of Nairobi, to prove their ownership.

An investigative report by a Sunday newspaper revealed that at least 40 MPs are among the beneficiaries of the land, which has been sub-divided into 189 plots. Developers are already on the site.

At the centre of the dispute is city businessman Horatius Da Gama Rose and former National Social Security Fund Managing Trustee Jose Konzolo, the owner of a company which claims it owns the land.

Yesterday, Swazuri said according to Land Commission records, the owner of the land is a company owned by Da Gama Rose.

Most African papers report the news that healthcare workers in Liberia will go on strike from today to demand hazard pay for treating patients infected with ebola.

Staff at Monrovia's Island Clinic, the largest government-run ebola clinic in the Liberian capital, have already been on a "go slow" since Friday in their battle for extra pay - defying a request by health officials to avoid industrial action during the ebola crisis, which has already killed over 4,000 people in west Africa.

In Liberia alone, 95 healthcare workers have died from the tropical fever, out of 201 infected, according to the latest World Health Organisation figures.